While driving, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with the wife of film maker Ali Kazimi and heard the most soul stirring music being sung by Shahid Ali Khan. When I got home, I searched the internet until I learned how I could purchase this music from Kazimi’s film “Continuous Journey”, about Canada’s shameful refusal in 1914 to let a shipload of 376 South Asian passengers (many of them citizens of British India) into Canada.
The sound and music CD was discovered at Improbable Music, and features Shahid Ali Khan, Kiran Ahluwalia, Ben Grossman, Ravi Naimpally, Mark Korven and Philip Strong. You can listen to a short clip at the web site. When I listened to the film maker’s wife speak about Shahid Ali Khan singing the piece that I heard on CBC Radio, she said that Kazimi asked him to sing about longing for home etc…you don’t need to know the Pakistani language, you can hear and feel it right down to your bones. I recently discovered a quotation by Shahid on CBC describing his music, “The duty of Qawwali is to reduce the distance between the Creator and the created”.